READ : Acts 9:3-22
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem . . . (Gal. 1:18)
I’ve always wished that I had a “Road to Damascus” experience – a sudden, dramatic, midlife conversion. I hear people tell such stories, and I am envious. My own coming to Christ was slow and gradual. I grew up in a Christian home, a Christian church, etc. I cannot remember a time when Christ was not my Savior any more than I can remember a time when my mother was not my mother. I wish my experience was more dramatic, but it didn’t happen that way for me.
But Paul’s conversion experience wasn’t quite as instantaneous as we might think. Yes, God knocks Paul from his high horse. Yes, Paul sees the light and hears the Lord. True, there is a dramatic, sudden change in Paul. But after that (and perhaps even before!) came a season of slow, gradual change. Paul journeyed to Arabia. He joined the Christian community in Damascus. Three years would elapse, following his “sudden” conversion, before Paul finally went up to Jerusalem. Three years? What was Paul doing all that time? Praying. Learning. Rethinking his theology. Growing in his faith, slowly and gradually.
Don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t had a “Road to Damascus” experience. Even the most sudden conversion experiences can take a long, long time.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith given to me, whether it came suddenly or slowly.